Dallas Braden: "we don't do much talking in the 209"

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Dallas Braden sat for an interview with CSN’s Mychael Urban and the subject of the whole A-Rod-on-the-mound thing came up:

Urban:  What people do want to see is what’s in your
head regarding Alex Rodriguez. I was on the air the day it happened, and
I said, “I just fell in love with Dallas all over again.”  I pitched in
college; if somebody did that to me I would have done the exact same
thing.  After the game, when you said, “If he does it again, there’s
going to be repercussions…” I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but
I said, “Where Dallas comes from, the 209, they don’t settle things
with message pitches, they settle them with knuckles.” Is that what you
were talking about?

Dallas Braden:  Well, I mean that’s pretty much the long and
the short of it.  You know, on a serious note, obviously there’s things
that are going to have to happen–just out of respect for my teammates,
out of respect for the game.  I think he’s probably garnered a new
respect for the unwritten rules, and people who hold them close to their
game.  But yeah I think you’re right–we don’t do much talking in the
209.

I realize people disagree about this incident. Some people think A-Rod was out of line, some people think that Braden was being way too touchy, some people think a little of both was going on.

But I think we can all agree on one thing: referring to where you come from as “the [area code]” is impossibly lame.  Especially when your area code covers freakin’ Modesto, California.

Report: Twins sign Erick Aybar to minor-league deal

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The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.

Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.

Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.